NDSU faculty and students to participate in snow symposium
Two faculty members from NDSU will travel to Winnipeg, Manitoba, to create gigantic snow sculptures for the 16th annual International Snow Sculpting Symposium on Feb. 9-13. Artists from countries, including Guatemala, Mexico, Switzerland and France, will create sculptures from blocks of compacted snow that measure 10 feet by 12 feet by 12 feet. The symposium is part of the Festival du Voyageur, western Canada's largest winter festival.
For the second year in a row, Stevie Famulari, assistant professor of landscape architecture, and Dave Swenson, associate professor of art, will team up with Kris Mills and Chris Reisz from the University of New Mexico to form Team USA. They will create "Time Arches On," a sculpture that illustrates different eras of time and civilization with the use of structures including arches, spirals, steps and towers. Last year, the team created "Medusa's Rise," a massive version of Medusa's head, which appeared to rise while serpents climbed from the ground.
Two teams from the United States were accepted for last year's symposium. NDSU landscape architecture students Kyle Slivnik, David Prom and Patrick Benson created a broken snow globe titled "Mischievous Gnomes."
Teams are selected for their experience in sculpture, originality and visual interest of the chosen subject and physical and artistic qualities of the proposed sculpture. This year only one U.S. team was accepted, but because Famulari and Swenson developed such a good relationship with organizers of the Festival du Voyageur, they have agreed to allow NDSU students to form Team NDSU.
"This is the first year NDSU has participated in this way. We are proud of the strong interdisciplinary relationship the architecture, landscape architecture and visual arts faculty have created to bring such an opportunity to NDSU," Famulari said. "The three programs have proudly worked together to move this project forward with our students – showing the strength of the faculty to use the commonality to strengthen the learning experience for all students involved."
Famulari, Swenson and David Crutchfield, assistant professor of architecture, have organized a competition to determine Team NDSU. Twenty-nine teams of approximately 100 architecture, landscape architecture and art students will create a board and wax model of their sculpture, which will be judged on Monday, Dec. 7, at 9 a.m. on the fifth floor of Renaissance Hall. Gary Tessier, the 2010 International Snow Symposium coordinator, and Madeline Vrignon, a sculptor, will come from Canada to judge the competition. Famulari, Swenson and Crutchfield also will serve as judges.
Each team must be comprised of three to four students from at least two different disciplines. Students have been challenged to explore materiality, context, form, medium and ephemeral design elements. With their model, they are required to include a title of the piece, a narrative about the design, a drawing of the design from more than one view, construction details for the design, materials for models, a list of expected tools for building the snow piece and a list of expected details about building the final piece.
"The development of working with interdisciplinary teams is valuable for the students to learn from each other. And the chance of going to an international competition to meet people from other countries is an experience that broadens their education," Famulari said about what she hopes the students gain from this experience.